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Hanoi Railway Cafe Gets Into Trouble for Hosting Dortmund Footballers

A photo of players from the Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund enjoying coffee on the tracks running through Hanoi's shuttered train street circulated earlier this week, prompting authorities to say they will take action against the illegally operating shop. 

A sign visible in the photo taken on Tuesday, November 28 clearly states that the area where the players are sitting is dangerous and there is to be no gathering or placing tables and chairs along the rail tracks. Netizens were quick to identify the specific cafe that the German league players visited and a representative from the local ward's People's Committee said the establishment would be restricted from operating with sanctions forthcoming. After the image circulated, barriers were placed around the coffee shop and encroaching areas were cleared.

Online reactions to the scene varied with many excusing the players and the establishment while questioning why the popular tourism site was closed instead of better safety measures implemented.

Springing up organically, the collection of cafes serving drinks mere centimeters from passing locomotives was shut down in 2019, re-opened and then again closed, potentially for good, earlier this fall. Even though the location is popular with local and foreign visitors alike, authorities argued that the railway attraction is too dangerous to continue. Cafes in the area have since said they have submitted a letter of appeal after having their licenses revoked and are continuing to operate in the meantime. 

The visit by Dortmund included a variety of goodwill tourism stops leading up to a friendly match against the Vietnamese national team on November 30. After arriving on the 28, tourists flocked to see the German footballers as they rode xích lô past Hoàn Kiếm Lake, strolled around Ba Đình Square and held an open practice

Discussions of the incident were wiped from the headlines following the outcome of Wednesday night's game. Vietnam went down one goal early but climbed out of the hole to eventually secure a 2-1 victory in the game, which served as a helpful warm-up to the upcoming ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Cup taking place from December 23 to January 16. The regional tournament will be the last for beloved head coach Park Hang-seo. Meanwhile, the Black and Yellows are traveling with a crew of 123 players, coaches and staff on a 10-day tour that included similar stops in Singapore and Malaysia.

[Photo via Tin Tức]

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